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Steering wheel shake between 40 and 75 mph


TFrano

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I have a 2006 Wrangler Rubicon with about 100,000 miles. The Jeep is in great shape and kept mostly original, no lift. The steering wheel shakes between 40 and 80 mph. This is not the death wobble but annoying and there is clearly something wrong.
  • I thought it was the tires and had them balanced 3 times (New Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac LT245/75R16 Load range C)
  • All front and rear control arms, sway bar links, drag link, tie rod, etc. are new
  • All u-joints and the front hub assemblies are new (Timken HA597449)
  • The shocks are new (Bilstein 5100)
  • The steering damper was replaced about a year ago
  • The alignment is good
Nothing improved it. I am wondering if there might be something with a rim (all original), but assume that when they balance the tires they should easily notice that.

I am stumped. Any ideas?
 

Goatman

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Apr 23, 2019
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Ball joints? Warped rotor? Do you feel it in the steering wheel or in the seat? Swap tires front to back and see if it changes. Seems like you have done most of the things that would cause a vibe. Pull front DS. Any better? Reinstall. Pull rear DS. Put in 4hi. Any better?
 
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TFrano

TFrano

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Everything re-checked (Ball joints, u-joints, drive shafts, you name it). Not the jeep but something with the tires. These are new Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac LT245/75R16. It feels like they are cupping. I had them balanced 3 times. Not sure what to do at this point. Anybody have issues with Duratracs? Do they need some miles to relax and be happy?
 

Chris

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Never had any issues with the numerous sets of Duratracs I've had... ever.

It's possible though you got a bad set of tires. What's the production date on them?
 

Kris M

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Have they been road forced balanced?
 

AndyG

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What psi are you running. Be sure it’s 26-28 , 30 on the high side and all even .

I’m emphatic on checking a track bar during a dry test.in these cases.
 
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Goatman

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Do a quick toe measurement. Are these the same rims as before the new tires? How many miles with the new tires before the shake started? Try down to 24 psi. Be sure they are all the same. Any change?
 
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TFrano

TFrano

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Feel like a fool. After I had the tires balanced for the 3rd time I did not check the tire pressure again. I finally did. The tire shop had pumped them up to 38psi cold - so on a hot Florida highway they would expand to at least 43psi.

So AndyG - you had it right. TJ drives like a limo now. Thanks for everybody’s input.
 
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TFrano

TFrano

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Epilogue
I was a bit too optimistic about the tire pressure resolving the shakes. The lower tire pressure helped but the wobble never went away. I already had the tires balanced 3 times but still decided to have them checked with a road force balancer. Turned out that the brand new Duratrac front right tire was so out of spec that it could not be balanced at all. So road force balancing is really worth it - and yes, I got the Duratrac replaced for free.

IMG_4219.jpg
 
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Fire814

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Jul 1, 2018
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Az
How or where do you get a road force balance? Does discount tire do it?
 
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TFrano

TFrano

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@Fire814 I googled for a small local shop which advertised road force balancing on their website. The large chain, which balanced my tires 3 times incorrectly, actually had a road force machine, but nobody used it.
 

Jeffreybomb

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@Fire814The large chain, which balanced my tires 3 times incorrectly, ...
According to a guy who does the oil changes on our family vehicles, the tire shop chain hires kids who don't know crap about cars. They just want to get customers in and out.

Normally, I'd take that with a grain of salt, but the oil change guy was the one who pointed out the deteriorating rotors on my wife's car. The kicker: I had the car at the tire shop minutes before to get the tires inspected.